10-05-2022 by Freddie del Curatolo
"Mother, should I run for president?"
The question from the famous Pink Floyd song "Mother" that echoed a few days ago on the feast of those who gave birth to us, seems to have been formulated and answered in the affirmative by a large group of Kenyan citizens, the highest ever for an African country that, in view of the elections, presents its pretenders to the "throne".
Of course, not all of them could meet the requirements being examined by the electoral commission, but according to the same commission, on which for weeks the sword of Damocles of overwork has been hanging that, in one case or another, will never be appreciated by the political class, not even the two candidates with the greatest (perhaps it would be better to say "only") chance of winning would still have the green light, especially because of the flood of petitions asking for their ineligibility.
In any case, 46 aspirants to the most important seat in Kenya have presented themselves as independents and in addition to these there are 9 candidates belonging to a party.
In addition to Raila Odinga (ODM and Azimio la Umoja alliance) and William Ruto (UDA and Kenya Kwanza alliance) there are the entrepreneur Jimmy Wangigi (Safina party), the governor of Murang'a Mwangi Wa Iria (Usawa Kwa Wote party), Dr.. Ekuru Aukot of the Thirdway Alliance, who was also in the 2017 race, David Mwaure Waihiga of the Agano party, Japheth Kaluyu of the Unified Change Party (UCP), and the colorful professor the George Wajackoyah of the Roots Party, the party of Rastafarians calling for the legalization of marijuana.
Among the independents many are lawyers, university professors and entrepreneurs of different caliber, there is also a well-known gospel singer, Reuben Kigame, and the Protestant pastor David Githii, as well as a business woman very followed on social media, Grita Muthoni, who should have represented the Ford Asili party but was not considered. Also showing up is the son of Joe Nyaga, a former politician who chose to run as an independent in 2017 and has since passed away. Jeremiah Nyaga will try to match the number of votes of his father, who was the most voted among those who presented themselves loose from any party, with more than 42 thousand votes. The others, and they were less than ten, had stopped between 13 thousand and 40 thousand, including Nazlin Omar, Nixon Kukubo, Muthiora Kariara who are running again this year and Professor Japheth Kaluyu who came fifth in 2017 and has been living in the United States for some time. The long list of presidential contenders, if approved by the IEBC, will also be a security nightmare: each candidate and his or her running mate must be guaranteed 24-hour security, with officers assigned to protect them, their offices, and their homes from the date of IEBC approval to the conclusion of the August 9 general election.
Should any of the presidential candidates or their running mates die, the August 9 election will be cancelled and a new date will be set, consistent with the provisions of Article 138(8b) of the Constitution.
The new date, should such a postponement occur, would be within 60 days of the previous election date set, i.e., by October 9.
The constitution also requires presidential candidates to be Kenyan citizens by birth, to qualify for election as members of parliament, to be nominated by a political party or to seek the most important job in the country as independent candidates, and to be nominated by at least 2,000 registered voters in at least 24 out of 47 counties.
The 55 presidential candidates will file their nomination papers in Chebukati from Sunday, May 29 through Monday, June 6.
And that's not all, there are those who don't aspire to get that high have run for county governor (as many as 106) state senator (147), congressman (as many as 958) and county councilor. Practically a small town: 5,845 souls.
All obviously driven by the desire, the compulsion to do good for the nation, eradicate poverty, eliminate corruption and finally change this country. Much to the chagrin of their mothers.
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